Doctors use many conditioning therapies to prepare your bone marrow and immune system before infusion of the new stem cells. The process is intended to kill cancer cells and suppress your immune system before your bone marrow transplant. Reduced-intensity conditioning may be an option if you're receiving stem cells from a donor.
In reduced-intensity conditioning, you are given lower doses or different types of chemotherapy or radiation for your conditioning treatment. Reduced-intensity conditioning kills some cancer cells and somewhat suppresses your immune system. The goal is to decrease the risk of transplant-related complications. Then the donor's cells are infused into your body. Donor cells replace cells in your bone marrow over time. Immune factors in the donor cells may then fight your cancer cells.
This less intense conditioning option may be appropriate for people who aren't healthy enough for high-dose conditioning or people who are older. Your doctor will discuss with you which type of conditioning may be best for you, considering several factors, including your age, medical condition and health.